Enhanced establishment of a virus carrier state in adult CD4+ T-cell- deficient mice

M. Battegay, D. Moskophidis, A. Rahemtulla, H. Hengartner, T. W. Mak, R. M. Zinkernagel

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

277 Scopus citations


CD4+ T cells play an important role in regulating the immune response; their contribution to virus clearance is variable. Mice that lack CD4+ T cells (CD4(-/-) mice) and are therefore unable to produce neutralizing antibodies cleared viscero-lymphotropic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) strain WE when infected intravenously with a low dose (2 x 102 PFU) because of an effective CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) response. In contrast, infection with a high dose (2 x 106 PFU) of LCMV strain WE led to expansion of antiviral CTL, which disappeared in CD4(-/-) mice; in contrast, CD4+ T- cell competent mice developed antiviral memory CTL. This exhaustion of specific CTL caused viral persistence in CD4(-/-) mice, whereas CD4+ T- cell-competent mice eliminated the virus. After infection of CD4(-/-) mice with the faster-replicating LCMV strain DOCILE, abrogation of CTL response and establishment of viral persistence developed after infection with a low dose (5 x 102 PFU), i.e., an about 100-fold lower dose than in CD4+- competent control mice. These results show that absence of T help enhances establishment of an LCMV carrier state in selected situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4700-4704
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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